Friday, May 1, 2009

Circuitous Thoughts on Joy, Beauty and Blogging

One of my dearest friends asked me a question lately. It was a series of questions, really. It went something like this, "Where do you find your passion for life? Have you always had it? Is it a decision you've made over the course of your life? Is it God?" To say that this took me off guard would be a bit of an understatement. I was not expecting it and it came pretty much out of the blue. It definitely set my wheels turning. I didn't write her back immediately because, to be honest, I didn't really know the answer. So, I did what I do best. I pondered. I thought about it so much over the next day or so. So deep were these thoughts that I'm certain they inspired me to perch myself atop my bathroom vanity and pluck my eyebrows. (This is where I have done my best thinking for approximately the past 18 years.)

Before long, I had collected my thoughts and was ready to share them. Today I decided to go ahead and share them with all of you - my friends. Here's what I told her:

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I have been pondering this email ever since I read it earlier today. I have to say - I think it's maybe the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. I even read it to Cory. It was so meaningful to hear such sweet words from someone I love so much!

It's interesting to think about where "that stuff" comes from, within me. I guess I haven't thought much about it until your email prompted me to do so. Here's what I've decided:

I think there has been something inside of me for a long time that really appreciated beauty where I found it, but for a long time, I didn't necessarily even notice that part of me. At the point that I did recognize that tendency, I realized that it made me a happier person, so why not go ahead and celebrate it? I would say that whatever "it" is, it is absolutely from God. I think He gives us all little things that make us special and unique and for me, it's the love of these silly, everyday things that I find beauty and joy in. Now that I'm in full-on mommy mode, searching for and appreciating my definition of beauty makes me a happier, calmer person. It's my little escape.

I remember last Spring noticing it very strongly, like never before. I would survive the first part of the day and get the kids down for naps and then grab my camera and go explore outside. It was a new house and I had no idea what might be popping up out of the ground. It was so exciting and just made me so happy! I always thought it was corny when people say that their "religion" is nature, but I think I started to understand what they mean. In those moments, I see God's love for me and sometimes I find some random little thing and it really does feel like a gift from God, sent only to me. It's amazing to realize that God made me this way and that He will love me in the way that He created me to feel and see love. If that makes any sense....

I would encourage you and anyone to think about what it is that brings you joy and then seek it out! My crazy blog brings me lots of joy, even if it seems at times like no one reads it. I write it for myself and if someone else enjoys it, it's the icing on the cake. That's another reason why it thrilled me to see that you are reading! Leave me a comment sometime, so I know you're there! :)

Final word on this: I think going through some of the difficult times in my life gave me a different perspective than I had before. I lived for a long time in self-inflicted misery. I think in some ways I had been inclined to feel sorry for myself or to feel like happiness wasn't really for me. Thank God I finally had the realization that I only get one life (cheesy, I know...) and it is my choice to live a life of joy, or to live one of stress and unhappiness. Of course I still have bad days. Of course I'm still short-tempered with my kids or snappy to my husband at times. Of course I still get lazy and grumpy. But now I know and believe that I was made to be far more than that.

Are you sorry you asked yet? :)

I guess that's it. Thank you for knowing you could ask - and for asking.

Love you,
Shannan

** The above photo is credited to my very handsome photographer-extraordinaire husband. He is learning how to edit photos to look faded and vintagey. Swoon!

*** Today is Friday! You know what to do. Go check out The Inspired Room for tons of posts about the beauty of life.

9 comments:

  1. Be sure to tag this with "Handsome Men." I just you won't forget. Lovely post, just lovely. Thanks for sharing...

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  2. I meant trust you won't forget. Sorry. Also, I must confess that sometimes your blog posts are just too beautiful, and I feel speechless to even attempt the english language to describe how it makes me feel. This, from an English major.

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  3. What a wonderful post! In a lot of ways blogging made me start seeing the beauty in the world around me. Thanks for the reminder to keep looking for it. Your attitude is contagious. I mean that. Hugs, Jen

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  4. I love this post!!! Love love love it! I am so happy you found my blog which in turn led me to your's and these wonderfully inspirational words! I look forward to visiting more!

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  5. i love this post, and i love you for being my friend...you make my world a better place. thanks for sharing this.

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  6. You nailed it - God is in the small stuff and His presence which is divine surrounds us through the people and places that we visit each and every day.

    Most of what the average person would consider just a happy concidences for me just happens to be a matter of taking time out of my day to recognize God's handiwork. I always try to follow the Holy Spirits lead and when I do I'm never disappointed by the results.


    It's never easy to put something like this into words but I think you did rather well with your lovely post.

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  7. i'm so glad you got the opportunity to talk to your friend about God. you are such a great witness for Him :)

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  8. Shannan,

    I totally agree with your reasons for blogging. I love to get my thoughts out. Sometimes they have to be put private ;) I love visiting your blog!!!

    In Christ,

    Amber

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  9. It's Monday already, 3:11pm. where's my Monday blog????????

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